Sheffield Wednesday manager Gary Megson says the club’s resurgence is all down to the players.
Despite the Owls searching for their first away win of the season tonight at Stevenage, Saturday’s 3-1 victory over the previously unbeaten League One leaders MK Dons was a sign that Megson’s team are a serious promotion candidate.
The Dons match was also a milestone in Megson’s tenure at Hillsborough. It was against the Buckinghamshire club in February that the former Owls midfielder was in charge for the first time.
On that occasion he was meant to be keeping a watching brief from the director’s box, but such was the performance in the first half – the Owls trailed 2-0 – he made his way to the dressing room and spent the second period pacing up and down the technical area.
Saturday’s match was totally different. Even when the Dons were passing the ball around the Wednesday half with alacrity Megson had trust in his players to gain control of the game.
Megson has already admitted that Wednesday have a long way to go to turn itself into the club he remembers as a player.
Getting it right on the pitch is the first priority. And while that is the area where he seemingly has most control, once the players step onto the turf he has to rely on his judgment of the team he has selected.
He said: “You bring in players who have got as many qualities as you can get. A lot of things are mentioned about managers and coaches but ultimately it comes down to one thing and that’s the playing staff.
“Yes the manager is in charge of selecting those and has a say about who comes in and who leaves, but everything will always be dictated by the playing staff you’ve got.”
Playing ability is obviously what attracts Megson to sign or keep a player. Once the business is done the instructions from the manager are simple.
He said: “I tell every player I bring to this club that if he doesn’t work hard and give it everything he’s got every time he plays that’s his fault.
“If he does give 100 percent and it doesn’t work out then that’s my fault, I shouldn’t have brought him here. I’m confident that if all our players give it their best shot every time they’re in a blue and white shirt we’ll get some good results.”